Gallery: Holywells Park opens Suffolk’s first interactive play area

Noah Gillings and Olivia Kempster enjoying the new interactive play area at Holywells Park.

Noah Gillings and Olivia Kempster enjoying the new interactive play area at Holywells Park. - Credit: Gregg Brown

More than 300 children turned out to the unveiling of a high-tech play area in an Ipswich park.

The i.play unit at Holywells Park combines interactive electronics with conventional play equipment and is the first of its kind in Suffolk.

The area was funded as part of the park’s Heritage Lottery project, which will see £3.5million invested into regenerating the green space over a five-year period, finishing in March 2018.

A demonstration was held today from 11am to 3pm by staff from the unit’s manufacturer, Playdale.

Richard Sharp, community engagement and volunteer officer for the Holywells Park Heritage Lottery project, said the aim of the i.play area was to get more teenagers and older children excited about exercise.

The play area encourages “stealth fitness”, where youngsters are being active without realising it.

With eight different games available to play, youngsters can then download their scores online and compare with other players around the country.

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Mr Sharp added: “The great thing about the i.play unit is that we, as the owners, can also get online and know how many people are using the equipment and it gives a chart of how many calories they have burnt off.”

The area is also designed to cater for partially sighted people and wheelchair users.

The Playdale team is planing to lead another demonstration in August.

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